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Chill Out, Faith Heads Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Posted by Henry in Afghanistan, Allah, Christianity, faith, football, God, Hinduism, Islam, Jesus, Malaysia, politics, reason, religion, soccer, United States.

It seems almost too coincidental, but two latest stories show yet again how blind religious beliefs can blind your sense of judgement.

The first story relates to the “Allah football” incident in Afghanistan. Apparently the US military has been dropping football (i.e soccer) balls in the country with the intention of giving the children something to enjoy. Those balls are nicely decorated with flags of different countries, as well as the name of Allah written on the balls. This caused great offence to some Afghans, and a demonstration has been held, because the use of the revered word “Allah” is very sensitive in Islam. Says one Afghan MP:

Afghan MP Mirwais Yasini said: “To have a verse of the Koran on something you kick with your foot would be an insult in any Muslim country around the world.”

I suggest the brothers and sisters of Islam chill out. Respect and sensitivity run both ways, so take a step back and understand the fact that the US military comes from a different culture, so at least tolerate these sort of mistakes (in fact religious-related “mistakes” like this should not be offences at all – but that is another story). Of course, I’d imagine that the protesters are a minority and the Afghan politicians may be using this incident to their personal advantages, but the point is, only religion can blind people people’s rational thinking and commonsense.

“Allah football”

The second story relates to the “Jesus cartoon” incident in Malaysia. A newspaper published a cartoon of Jesus holding a cigarette and what seems to be a beer can, and so some Christians and even some Hindus, both minorities in Malaysia, are not pleased, because if Muslims can get angry and therefore special treatment at a cartoon depicting Muhammad, then this case deserves the same treatment from the Islamic based Malaysian government. Consequently the offending newspaper outlet has apologised. Again, this issue involves complicated ethnic politics, but the point is the same: only religion, on its privileged pedestals, can cause such silly incident.

Needless to say, the second story reminds us of the horrible, silly and unfortunate case of the Danish prophet Muhammad cartoon case not so long ago – and the deaths and economical damages the whole drama unnecessarily caused.

Muslims, Christians, and even Hindus in this case – can you stop quarrelling amongst yourselves and behave in a civil way?

“Prophet Muhammad cartoons”


1. Bad - Tuesday, August 28, 2007

“in fact religious-related “mistakes” like this should not be offenses at all”

Why not? If someone believes that something is bad to, even for a very silly reason, then doing it is going to make them angry, and its probably a bad idea no matter what you think of the underlying theory.

Realizing that people being offended does not give them a veto on free expression is important, but people can legitimately find things to be offensive an express that feeling, as well as convincing others that it reflects poorly on the person who committed the offense.

2. BlackSun - Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Why not? If someone believes that something is bad to, even for a very silly reason, then doing it is going to make them angry,

If the person is wrong, (by your own admission “for a very silly reason”) who cares if they get angry? It’s their problem.

3. dorid - Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I could see if the balls were actually decorated with the name of Allah on purpose, but from what I read, it’s actually on the Saudi flag, which is why it was on the football in the first place.

Silly? Yup. If the Saudi flag had NOT been included, they probably would have griped about that as well. In this case, there probably was no clue for the people who did this that the Afghans would be angry.

As far as the news paper with the smokin’ Jesus? Ah, send them back a little of their own:

Matther 11:19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.

In this case, I’d be willing to bet the paper did it to be contraversial. Yup, it made people angry. I imagine it was supposed to make people think, too. And the more people have to discuss or argue about it, the more they’re actually thinking about the silly things they believe and the silly way they act regarding their faith.

4. h3nry - Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Hi bad, I can think of one counter-example – the ban of smoking. Surely it has caused “offense” and extreme inconvenience for the smokers. Sometimes measures that causes offense like banning-smoking is simply a necessity.

Hi dorid, the football is actually painted not on the Saudi flag but on the shahada (an Islam symbol).

5. Bad - Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Blacksun:”If the person is wrong, (by your own admission “for a very silly reason”) who cares if they get angry? It’s their problem.”

Because only sociopaths think upsetting people for no good reason is normal behavior, and decide that it’s okay to do this just because they consider the people in question foolish.

Who cares if they get angry? Well, anyone that has things like empathy or concern or compassion for the feelings of others.

By your logic, if someone has an irrational phobia of spiders, and you walk by and dump a bunch of spiders on them, and they freak out and have a horrible day because of it, well, that’s their problem!

Of course, the vast majority of people would consider the actual problem to be that you are a jerk.

6. GeorgeRic - Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hey, that inter-religious battle will shortly come to an end when the new ideas presented in ‘Techie Worlds’ become known.
It pleases me to let open-minded people know about new ways of pondering about the age-old questions. With the existence of ‘Techie Worlds’ (available at amazon.com) believers in Christianity can hold their views utilizing sound logic, clear thinking and a mechanistic view of worlds. Applying Flatland’s concept of contiguous dimensional worlds, Trinity, Resurrection, Judgment and soul are sensible and mechanically viable beliefs. ‘Techie Worlds’ follows that rule of science by which individual details are tested for their conformity to the overarching hypothesis. Admittedly, agnostics may choose not to follow such obvious and sensible logic, but no longer can they denigrate believers for fuzzy thinking. Moslems and pagans who read and understand the sound logic of the Flatland concept must adopt the reasonable Trinitarian view. ‘Techie Worlds’ will make them abandon the ways of terror an adopt the way of love. Techie Worlds is not standard preacher-prattle. Only by reading it can you open your mind to its valid way of understanding Christianity.GeorgeRic

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